February 19, 2021 4:14:35 am
A day after West Bengal Minister Jakir Hossain and his supporters were injured in a crude bomb attack in Murshidabad, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday termed it a “big conspiracy” and alleged that he was being “pressured” to join another party.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar demanded an investigation by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) into the blast.
Banerjee announced a Rs 5-lakh compensation for the seriously injured and Rs 1 lakh for those who suffered minor injuries. Banerjee said 26 people were injured in the blast while 14 of them, sources said, were seriously injured.
Hossain and his supporters were injured while they were waiting to board a train to Kolkata from Nimtita railway in Murshidabad on Wednesday night. The minister of state for labour suffered injuries in his left leg and right hand, and was admitted to the trauma care unit of state-run SSKM Hospital in Kolkata. Hospital sources said he was critical.
It’s dangerous. I am shocked they were trying to board a train like normal people. The people who were present at the spot suspect that the blast was activated using a remote. Though the matter is to be investigated, I am saying what eyewitnesses have told me. Prima facie, the circumstantial evidence suggests that the attack was ‘planned’ and done intentionally. For the last few months, some people (party) have been pressuring Jakir Hossain to join them. I don’t want to disclose anything more as investigation is on,” she told reporters after meeting Hossain at SSKM hospital.
She blamed the Railways for the “security lapse” and for taking the incident “lightly”.
“No railway police personnel was present at the platform. There was no light at the station. The incident happened at the railway station where the state has no major role to play. It is the railway property. Despite such a big incident, why are they taking it so lightly? It is definitely a big conspiracy,” Banerjee said and compared the blast to the assassination of Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh in the 1990s.
Banerjee claimed that the attackers were keeping an eye on Hossain’s movement and planned the attack accordingly.
She said the probe had been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which would be assisted by the Special Task Force (STF) and Counter Insurgency Force, and urged the railway police force to co-operate in the investigation. The special investigation team (SIT) will be led by Additional Director General of CID Anuj Sharma and will look into the nature of explosives/IEDs, trigger mechanism, arrest of accused and conspiracy to kill Hossain.
A team of police officer on Thursday reached Murshidabad to examine the crime scene with the help of a dog squad and a forensic team.
The State government has formed SIT under the leadership of ADG CID Anuj Sharma.
Dhankhar also visited SSKM Hospital and met Hossain in the evening.
“Fifteen persons suffered injuries; one of them has been discharged because his injuries were not serious… I have been told by the directors that he (Hossain) is looking up. There are three others who are critical. It is a reminder to all of us that violence has no place in our society. I strongly condemned the incident. It is the most unfortunate, atrocious incident. Such kind of incidents are shame to our society,” he told media at SSKM.
SSKM Hospital has formed a medical board for Hossain’s treatment. The BJP leadership on Thursday continued its criticism of Banerjee.
“Does the Railways run the state? Such theories won’t help. She has failed both as the state home minister and chief minister,” said state BJP vice-president Jaiprakash Majumdar.
BJP’s National General Secretary and state in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya tweeted: “I strongly condemn the crude bomb attack on TMC Minister Jakir Hossain at Nimtita railway station, Murshidabad. I pray for speedy recovery of the injured.
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